Opinion
E-waste: The growing environment threat in Uganda
Publish Date: Jul 17, 2014
newvision
  • mail
  • img

By Agatha Ninsiima
 
When I accidentally sat on my phone a few weeks ago, one look at the screen told me it was beyond repair. The only question remaining was what funeral to give to my dead ex-best friend. Rather, how best to dispose my old dead lovely phone.
 
Normally, I would just toss it in the rubbish bin.
 
Having read, reviewed and advocated for the implementation of the E-Waste Policy of 2012, I wanted to find out how I could recycle or safely dispose my dead phone without hurting the environment.
 
E-waste covers everything electronic we throw away, from the smallest battery, phone, watch to the largest computer or a television set. For most Ugandans, it has come to mean that obsolete phones, or slow computers that, two years ago, were the fastest ever available are dumped for new ones.
 
All over the world, e-waste has become the fastest growing type of rubbish. Each day, we buy new gadgets as technology continues to advance.
 
Did you know that your phone, in addition to being made with mercury, lead, arsenic, and glass, contains valuable amounts of gold, platinum, silver, and copper? In China, recycling these minerals from their e-waste is now an economic sector worth over billions of dollars every year.
 
Right now, in Uganda, our e-waste is just pilling up inside and outside our communities. We need a comprehensive legal framework that coordinates policy to turn that junk back into gold, and here's how we can do it in three easy steps:
 
Step 1: Develop a comprehensive and easily-enforceable legal standard in cooperation with the community, small businesses, local townships, and government agencies to deal with e-waste.
 
Step 2: Return enforcement proceeds to a sovereign wealth fund that provides fixed-interest rate loans to successful small recycling businesses seeking to expand their operations.
 
Step 3: Profit from consistent law, with positive profit motives of enforcement, while getting the benefit of watching businessmen fight with each other as they clean our streets.
 
As they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure. Let's find a way to treasure our beautiful and clean Uganda.
The Writer is a lawyer and project advocate at Advocates for Natural Resources Governance and Development (ANARDE).
 
Related Stories

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Can sh23.9 trillion budget deliver the expected development in Uganda?
The theme for the financial Year 2015/16 budget is ‘maintaining infrastructure investment and promoting excellence in public service delivery of Uganda’s economy’....
We must resist camp politics
From the time rumours started circulating about former prime minister John Patrick Amama Mbabazi’s presidential ambitions, a lot has changed in the NRM party, with various factions emerging to show solidarity and campaign for Mbabazi, who recently went public about his bid....
President Museveni emerged triumphant as opposition camp further disintegrates before 2016
President Yoweri Museveni has emerged triumphant after a week of dramatic political events in northern Uganda....
Prof. Baryamureeba’s ‘12-Issues Programme’ for 2016-2021
The 2016 Presidential election offers us all an opportunity to choose progress. As a new face in the politics of the presidency, I breathe new life into our beloved country....
Can foreign aid be the solution to Africa’s problems?
I have written this article as a reflection on what the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary, Dr. Asuman Lukwago, revealed in the New Vision of Thursday, June 24, 2015 that the Global Fund and the Government of Uganda were to sign on that day an agreement for another round of funding on top of...
Renovating the World Order
Russia-instigated violence has returned to Ukraine. The Islamic State continues its bloodstained territorial conquests....
Do you think Ugandan graduates are the worst in the region?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter